Monday, June 23, 2008

Vacation Vacation - Days 1 through 2 (Grand Junction)

Ahhhhh... On vacation. It's nice. Last year Jesper and I went to Europe; Austria, Germany, the Riviera, and (of course) Denmark. Somewhat highbrow. This year, we decided to explore the many mountain bike meccas in the southwest. Oddly enough, Jesper and I have never done a mountain bike vacation. So far, that is.

We started our vacation with a group of wonderful and talented mountain biking friends in Grand Junction, Colorado. Yes, it is a tad hot this time of the year in Grand Junction. But the riding is super fun and Grand Junction is on the way to our second destination, Park City.

We were joined in GJ by Cynthia, Kim and Dan, Tracy (girlfriend - you need a blog!), Chuck (a young colleague of Dan's) and Joe (a friend of Chuck's). Cynthia, Kim and Tracy are some of the best female mountain bikers you'll meet. Dan is an awesome rider. Jesper is a super rider and is getting even better on his new FS 29-er every time he rides. Chuck.... nice guy, but he really needs to climb more. Joe is a newbie and did great, acknowledging all the while that he got schooled over the two days of hard riding. He was so cute, saying to Jesper, "I never new mountain biking could be like this!!!"

So, we met up in Boulder on Saturday morning at Cynthia's house at 6:00 am and convoyed out to GJ, stopping in Keystone to pick up Joe. We arrived at the Tabeguache Trailhead right at about the hottest time of the day. Hmmm.... wonder why there's no one else at the Trailhead. Maybe 'cause it's 105 degrees and there's no shade. We rode the Ribbon (no shuttle) and had the trail completely to ourselves.

Cynthia had been out to visit her dermatologist sister to have laser face treatment (for free, that lucky gurl!). So she could not get exposed to the sun. Kinda hard to do in GJ, which is essentially wide open desert. Instead of staying home and crying about missing a great ride, Cynthia wore this cotton burka over her face and slathered on the thickest, goopiest sunscreen. Only Cynthia!!

Cynthia in her burka

She got away with it 'cause she a great rider and she was totally ON that day, cleaning some really techy lines. I wasn't too ON at first, but I cleaned a techy, 2 foot step-up after a few tries. It was much higher than I though I could get manage, so I was super stoked after that. Kim cleaned almost everything and Tracy tried everything, cleaning much of it. It's so cool to ride with such good female mountain bikers.

We rode beautiful, rocky trails. We climbed 2300 feet. We ran out of water (well Jesper and I had enough water until the last mile). We had a blast!

After the ride, Jesper and I headed off to find a hotel and the others supposedly headed off to their campsite. Change of plans - they decided it was too hot and would be easier to get a room for all 6 of them, so they came over to America's Best Value Inn with us. Different room. We all grabbed some yummy beer and way too spicy food at the Rockside Brewery in GJ.

Jesper, Me, Cynthia, Tracy, Kim, Dan, Joe and Chuck

The next day, after breakfast, we headed back to the Tab Trailhead. It was cooler in the morning, so there were some other cars in the lot. We started out day with the Holy Cross Trail. This was fantastic, with some very technical drops and such. I really liked this trail!!! You need to check out Kim's blog post to see her series of photos of me cleaning a really technical section blind, with Kim calling out where I needed to go. To say I was psyched to clean this line is a huge understatement!

Tracy coming up a techy section

We followed up Holy Cross with the Gunny Loop, which I have ridden before. That's another fantastic trail! All in all, another 2300 of climbing for Day 2, although all of this on trail. And, another hot one. After the ride, we hung at the trailhead for a bit, had a beer and laughed bragged about the stuff we rode and tried to ride. Then Jesper and I took off for the second stage of our vacation - Park City. Stay tuned for my next blog installment.

Also, Jesper has posted some pictures and will be posting more.

1 comment:

Kim & Dan said...

Awesome write up Jen, I knew you'd do a way better job then I could.

I hope you're having a wonderful, relaxing vacation all the while trying to cram as much riding in as possible!